Doctrinal Homily Outlines
Lesson Plans (PDF)
The Catholic Church teaches that the Spirit promised in today’s gospel as advocate, helper, and guide is associated with the followers of Jesus in a variety of ways. First, the Church as a whole is a messianic people and community of the Spirit. The Second Vatican Council asserted that Christ “has shared with us his Spirit who, being one and the same in head and members, gives life to, unifies, and moves the whole body” (LG 7). Second, in the celebration of liturgy and the sacraments, the Spirit is also at work, animating and giving life to divine worship. The Council also asserted that: “It is not only through the sacraments and the ministrations of the Church that the Holy Spirit makes holy the People, leads them and enriches them with his virtues. Allotting his gifts according as he wills . . . he also distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank” (LG 12). Last of all, the individual believer is gifted with the Spirit through the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Confirmation is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation. The sign of confirmation is the laying on of hands and the anointing with chrism. The anointing of confirmation is consecratory. Similar to the anointing received by priests, prophets, and kings, the anointing of confirmation signifies a noble status. When the newly baptized are confirmed, this consecration with sacred chrism imparts a unique, indelible spiritual mark, sealing and strengthening their baptism. What is the purpose of this consecration? It seals the newly baptized for their mission to be a witness to Christ in the world. The term “Christ” means “anointed one,” and therefore believers sealed with chrism at confirmation are rightly called “Christians,” those who are anointed to profess their faith in Jesus, the Christ, and witness to the Lord in their daily lives (CCC 1294).
The perfumed oil used in the sacrament of confirmation is itself consecrated by the bishop on Holy Thursday at the cathedral for use throughout the year. The richness of the sacred chrism, the perfumed oil, expresses symbolically the richness of the gifts of the Spirit poured out upon the believer in confirmation. The prayer which accompanies the laying on of hands during the celebration of the sacrament expressly mentions seven gifts of the Spirit: wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence, and wonder and awe (RC 25).
Lesson Plans (PDF)
Saints of the Week
Catechism Cross References
Courtesy of Catholic Cross Reference Online